Purpose of the Completion Dossier

The M.Ed. Completion Dossier provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with the program’s overall goals for academic learning and improvement of professional practice in education.  The completion dossier ensures breadth of academic work and application of knowledge in each candidate’s work toward the M.Ed. degree, guided by the School of Educational Studies' goals for the degree. 

As a collaborative, scholarly and professional community, the University of Washington Bothell School of Educational Studies exists to develop and support educators who have the commitments and capabilities to promote the learning of all students in diverse contexts. We support interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the multifaceted dimensions of learning and schooling.
Our primary learning goals are:

  • Innovation grounded in knowledge of students and learning
  • Innovation in times of educational change
  • Ethical practice
  • Practice grounded in intellectual and professional communities
  • Dedication to educating diverse students

Within this framework, the goal of the M.Ed. Program is to develop educational leaders who excel in their own practice and influence others to support student learning and safeguard the public purposes of schooling in a democracy.

Content of the Completion Dossier

The Completion Dossier contains four sections:

(I) An introduction to the Completion Dossier, in which the student describes how four academic products and one application product to be presented in the dossier, taken as a whole, meet the Education Program’s learning goals as these are elaborated in the rubric for completion dossiers.

(II) Four substantive academic products, normally developed in conjunction with four different graduate courses. These products will often result from the three required core courses and one course related the student’s areas of specialization, but may include major academic products from other graduate courses as well.  Students select four major academic products that they believe best demonstrate how they have met the program’s learning goals. Since these will normally be products that were originally developed for a graduate class, students have the option of using the product as it was originally developed for the class or making revisions that demonstrate additional learning.  In either case, a draft that contains the original instructor comments should be included in the dossier.

Most substantive academic products will be individually written professional papers that demonstrate conceptual knowledge of a topic area or issue relevant to education. With a total of four products in the dossier, however, students have some flexibility for including one or two alternative products, including, for example, a collection of smaller products illustrating a particular area of competence, a co-authored product (as might result from a group assignment), or a demonstration of accomplishments related to program goals using an alternate format. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the products that she or he chooses for the dossier demonstrate the required accomplishments related to the program’s five goals, as these are elaborated in the rubric for completing dossiers.

(III) One product that demonstrates application of knowledge in the student’s practice. Application of knowledge products serve as an opportunity for students to demonstrate through practice the rigorous academic skills acquired during their course of study and must meet the following criteria:

  • Identifies issues(s) of importance embedded in educational contexts
  • Bridges theory and practice
  • Designs and implements an inquiry plan to gather data for analysis
  • Analyzes and evaluates data
  • Reflects upon implications for practice and further research

Students may choose to reflect their application of knowledge through a major course product from a preapproved list or through the implementation of a personal application of knowledge product.

(IV) A reflection in which a student explains how the four academic products and the application product have contributed to professional learning and development in the program with reference to what the dossier signifies about you as a learner, educator, and professional committed to equity, diversity, and renewal in educational institutions.

Link to instructions on How to Prepare an Electronic Completion Dossier

Evaluating the Completion Dossier

No later than the sixth week of the quarter before graduation is planned (e.g., week six of Winter quarter for a Spring quarter completion), a signed  “Completion Dossier Plan” must be submitted to the student’s advisor. The plan specifies the four academic and one application product that will be included in the dossier and must be signed by both the advisor and a second reader who is chosen jointly by the student and advisor and who has agreed to serve in this role. A copy of this form is included in Attachment 3. 

Students must enroll in B EDUC 599 - "Project Completion" (2-5 credits) during the quarter they are submitting their Completion Dossier. An entry code for the course will be granted when the Completion Dossier Plan has been completed and signed.

The completed dossier must be submitted to the student’s advisor no later than the eighth week of the quarter in which the student wishes to graduate. Each dossier will be read and evaluated by two members of the graduate faculty, typically the student’s advisor and one additional faculty member who is knowledgeable about the students areas of emphasis.

Evaluation of the Completion Dossier involves scoring the dossier taken as a whole, not evaluating individual products, using the Rubric for Evaluating Completion Dossiers. A student will be considered to have passed the Completion Dossier requirement when the standards for each program goal are scored as proficient by both faculty members. When the two faculty members disagree on whether the student has passed, a third faculty member will score the portfolio independently, with the final decision reflecting the majority of the three readers.

If a student does not pass the Completion Dossier on the first attempt, he or she will have two additional opportunities to have the dossier evaluated. However, no two evaluations can occur in the same academic quarter, so that the student has sufficient time for the necessary substantive study and revision.  A student must be enrolled for at least two credits in the quarter in which the dossier evaluation occurs.

To Whom does the Requirement for a Completion Dossier Apply

All students admitted to the M.Ed. program in Autumn 2009 or later must meet these requirements for a completion dossier in order to satisfy degree requirements. Contingent on advisor approval, students admitted to the program prior to that date have the option of completing under either the existing requirements for a culminating project or the new completion dossier.  Advisor approval will normally depend on the extent to which students have already completed four substantive academic products in prior coursework which the advisor believes are largely ready for submission when the completion dossier plan is filed.